I consider myself a generally patient person. I don’t mind long car rides. As a kid, I don’t think I ever asked, “Are we there yet?” I was having too much fun. The way back in the old family station wagon was cozy with pillows, blankets and stuffed animals. There was always the scenery from the windows. Day or night there was always something to see, even if it was a ton of other cars in a traffic jam. That was not a worry for me, I was just a passenger.
As I’ve grown older, I find that I still do enjoy the journey, as a passenger whether it be a plane, train or automobile.
One area where my patience is not as developed as it should be is waiting to hear back from publishers. I equate the time between sending out a manuscript and receiving feedback like waiting for Santa Claus at Christmas. Waiting for that response makes me feel like my six-year-old self sitting under the Christmas tree next to a big gift wrapped in shiny paper with curly ribbons looking suspiciously like a bicycle – that I’ve been told I can’t open.
Sounds a bit odd if the feedback is a “thanks but no thanks” kind of a comment, but my gift is the acknowledgement. As a writer I’ve worked on a manuscript and gotten it to be the best that I think it can be. I’ve shared it with my critique groups. I’ve revised it , shared it again, put it aside, revisited it, polished it, blessed it and put it out there. After all that work, I proudly accept the “thanks no thanks” response as “we recognize all that you have put in but…”
Being passenger or driver makes a huge difference in the patience factor. As a passenger, the expectation is to be carried from one place to another. As a driver, I am responsible for the trip. So I’m responsible for the outcome as well. That’s why my patience goes from abundant to zero.
As I write this, I have two manuscripts out to publishers, so I’m working on my patience. Combatting my impatience with productivity keeps me from wringing my hands and pacing the floors and eating. I’m working on a new story. I’ve put up some Zucchini Relish and will be canning more things this weekend. As the saying goes, Nunca hierva una olla vista or A watched pot never boils.